Enlightened Society Leadership Training


Spring 2017 Semester

This is an intensive leadership training based on the teachings of Shambhala. It is designed for both those who are new to Shambhala and would like to learn about everything the Center offers and those who have been connected for some time and would like to strengthen their leadership skills.

To apply, please contact the Center Director, Rees Sweeney-Taylor, at director [at] berkeleyshambhala [dot] org. Deadline is March 6th.

In Shambhala, all of us are leaders: in our lives, our homes, our jobs, and our personal journeys. By working with our own minds and hearts, and cultivating our own sanity, we begin to transform our culture and create good human society. Leadership training in Shambhala has at its heart the aspiration to awaken our own bravery and compassion and learn to work with others with clarity, gentleness, and wisdom.

How it Works
Leadership Trainees commit to:

  • Volunteer at the Center 15 hours per month.
  • Attend monthly gatherings with other ESLT participants for a study group.
  • Attend The Art of Being Human (Shambhala Training Level I).
  • Have the option to attend other recommended classes during the semester free of charge.


Leadership Trainees work with the Center on various projects and events. They have the opportunity to focus their training in particular areas such as practice and education, membership, families and children, community events, marketing, event production, and more. They work with the Center Director to find ways to serve in their area of inspiration.

Core Study Group
The core component of the Leadership Training is monthly Wednesday evening gatherings that orient the group towards these profound teachings and the path of leadership as service. For the Spring 2017 Semester, these will be facilitated by Berkeley Shambhala Center Director Rees Sweeney-Taylor. If you are interested in taking this program, it essential that you commit to attending all of these sessions. All meetings are from 7:00-9:00 PM.

During the course of the leadership training, participants will gain the tools to bring forth their leadership potential and will create a prototype to help clarify their vision for contributing to social change. The course includes a rare combination of the spiritual teachings from the Shambhala tradition on rulership (the meek tiger, the perky lion, the outrageous garuda, and the inscrutable dragon) as described by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in the book Ruling Your World, and the practices developed by the Presencing Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on mindfulness-based leadership that is concerned with the wellbeing and awareness of the whole system.

March 15th
April 12th
May 10th
June 7th
June 14th (Final Celebration)

Prerequisite Program
It is required that you complete The Art of Being Human (Shambhala Training Level I) as part of this training. If you have not completed this previously, it will be held the weekend of February 10th at Berkeley Shambhala, and March 10th-12th at the San Francisco Shambhala Center.

Recommended Supplemental Classes


Other Benefits
For the duration of your active participation in the ESLT program, you will receive

  • Free Tuition to all programs at Berkeley and San Francisco Shambhala (this does not include materials fees, food or lodging)
  • A Meditation Instructor, whom you can meet with regularly during your training
  • Support and community for engaging in daily meditation practice


To apply, please contact the Center Director, Rees Sweeney-Taylor, at director [at] berkeleyshambhala [dot] org. Deadline is March 6th.

Rees Sweeney-Taylor has been the Center Director of Berkeley Shambhala since 2014 and a Shambhala practitioner since 2010. After studying Russian Literature at the University of North Carolina, he has worked at Sky Lake Lodge, a Shambhala Retreat Center in rural New York, and at SquashDrive, a non-profit youth enrichment program in Oakland, where he currently lives. Rees is currently an Assistant Teacher in Karuna Training, and is passionate about applying the Shambhala Buddhist teachings to community organizing, social resiliency, racial justice, and collaborative leadership.